Adolescents view social exclusion based on social class as more wrong than do children.

Gönül B., Şahin Acar B., Killen M.

DEVELOPMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, vol.59, no.9, pp.1703-1715, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 59 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1037/dev0001564
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, ASSIA, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, PASCAL, Periodicals Index Online, CAB Abstracts, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, Communication Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), EMBASE, ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Gender Studies Database, Linguistic Bibliography, Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts, MEDLINE, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.1703-1715
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


Psychological attitudes about social status hierarchies and social mobility often reflect stereotypic expectations about competencies and entitlements based on inequalities. Children who experience exclusion based on social class are at risk of experiencing a lack of opportunities, contributing to societal disparities. Recently, developmental science has examined the origins of attitudes that contribute to social exclusion, reflecting moral judgments about fairness as well as societal and group-based concerns about norms and intergroup dynamics. This study investigated children’s reasoning about intergroup exclusion by focusing on social class as a potential exclusion criterion for children and adolescents in peer contexts in Türkiye, an understudied context for research. Participants living in a metropolitan area of Türkiye (N = 270) between the ages of 8–10 (Mage = 9.80; SD = .77; 53.5% girls) and 14–16 (Mage = 15.51; SD = .93, 61.7% girls) from lower and higher socioeconomic backgrounds were asked for their exclusion evaluations, emotion attributions, related justifications, and individual solutions. While participants overall viewed social class-based social exclusion as wrong, adolescents typically viewed it as more wrong than did children. Adolescents focused on unfair treatment and discrimination, whereas children focused on interpersonal aspects of social exclusion more frequently. Older participants from lower socioeconomic status (SES) viewed the excluders’ intentions as discriminatory more often than did older participants from higher SES who desired to protect the status quo. These findings shed new light on how children and adolescents evaluate societal-based biases contributing to peer social exclusion